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The Alchemist

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265 pages2 hours

Summary

The comedy “The Alchemist” is written by a playwright, Ben Jonson. This play was first staged in 1610 in king’s men theatre. "The 
 Alchemist" is generally considered as one of the most characteristic and best comedy and satire on the vices of the society.

The play cleverly fulfils the classical unities and clearly depicts the vices of the society. Due to its rebellion against false religious practices, this play is considered as one of the Renaissance plays.

Jonson’s comedy echoes the new-fangled self-confidence. In this play, for the first time, he smears his conventional commencement of play to a setting in modern London, with energising consequences. The conventional components, chiefly the connection between Lovewit and Face, is completely rationalised; similarly, the representation of 17th century London is given direction and course by the orthodox indulgent of comedy as revenue to uncover immorality and imprudence to mockery.

The play concerns the turmoil of deception that ensues when Lovewit leaves his London house in the care of his scheming servant, Face. With the aid of a fraudulent alchemist named Subtle and his companion, Dol Common, Face sets about dispensing spurious charms and services to a steady stream of dupes. These include the intemperate knight Sir Epicure Mammon, the pretentious Puritans Ananias and Tribulation Wholesome, the ambitious tobacconist Abel Drugger, the gamester law clerk Dapper, and the parvenu Kastril with his widowed sister, Pliant. The shrewd gambler Surly nearly exposes the sham by posing as a Spanish don seeking the hand of Pliant, but the gullible parties reject his accusations. When Lovewit reappears without warning, Subtle and Dol flee the scene, leaving Face to make peace by arranging the marriage of his master to the beautiful and wealthy Dame Pliant.

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